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US Pneumonia and Influenza Deaths Spike to 8.45%
Recombinomics Commentary 13:10
February 3, 2011

Tomorrow’s week 4 FluView by the US CDC will show a dramatic spike in the number of pneumonia and influenza (P&I) deaths the United States, based on tomorrow’s MMWR.  The rate of 8.45% is a dramatic increase from the 7.49% reported for week 3 and is well above the epidemic threshold.

This spike is likely due to the increases in H1N1, which is now becoming dominant in multiple states.  The most recent reports from Pennsylvania and New Jersey indicate H1N1 is now more common than H3N2, and that trend is likely to spread across the US.

The CDC has not released any December or January H1N1 sequences, but the vast majority of sequences from October and November had S188T or S186P, which were dominant in the UK in October and November also.  UK experience a large number of severe and fatal H1N1 cases in December and January. Similarly, Canada just released six HA sequences from Ontario collected in late 2010 and all six had S188T or S186P.

Tomorrow’s FluView will also report 6 pediatric deaths including two in New Jersey.  This spike is also likely linked to increases in H1N1.

Release of December and January H1N1 sequences in the United States would be useful.

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